Tehre are lots of teen books with a music theme – and I read a lot of them because, like the teens they are aimed at, I love music, so I’m drawn to them. It’s simple – but the books aren’t always simple and fluffy stuff. These two are solid reads about kids trying to find their way – and making their own background music.
by Tara Kelly
ISBN: 978 0 8050 9010 9
Drea has moved yet again, and is thrilled to immediately make a friend in Naomi. Friends don’t come easy to Drea, who has ADHD and Asperger’s to complicate social connections for her. When she meets Justin on the first day and seems to run afoul of Kari, who also has her eyes on him and issues with Naomi, she has a hard time figuring out what’s what, and there are some definite ups and downs as they all get to know each other. She learns that Naomi has some problems, but has an amazing voice, and while Justin’s interest in her confuses and scares her a bit, his piano skills amaze her. Together, the three start to make music and forge ties.
As things are going well with Justin, however, Naomi’s problems increase, and this book ends with some serious stuff as her drug usage and attraction to a really bad guy draw her in and end her life. For all this, it’s a good read, largely about Drea coming to grips with her diagnoses and learning to let people in. She’s a highly relatable character, and you are definitely rooting for her all the way to the end, which sees her finding some peace with things.
Also available as an ebook.
by Mary Amato
ISBN: 978 1 60684 124 2
Tripp didn’t live up to his end of the summer bargain, so his mom has taken his guitar, as agreed. He can’t believe it – it’s the one thing that makes everything else worthwhile, so when he discovers that the school has a guitar and he can book a practice room, he does, finding a tiny bit of refuge in his week on odd days.
Lila is one of the perfect ones. Perfect grades, perfectly pretty, perfectly talented and dedicated cellist, perfect extracurriculars to get into the perfect music school with her perfect best friend. The only imperfect things are the panic attacks she feels from the pressure of all of it, and the fact that while Annie practices on odd days, she was given even days. This little twist of fate leads her into a series of notes left between her and Tripp in the practice room they share, and soon the two are sharing secrets and writing songs together, sharing a passion for music that lands them in hot water, but ultimately triumphs. This one is less gritty by far, and a great story for any teen who is passionate about music.